Malaysia will transition to the endemic stage of the Covid-19 pandemic starting 1 April, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
In a press conference yesterday (8 March), Ismail said all restrictions on operating hours have been lifted and that businesses can open according to the conditions set by their respective licenses.
This will then allow the public to eat out past midnight, while allowing 24-hour convenience stores to open as normal.
Ismail said this “transitional” phase is an exit strategy that allows us to gradually return to our pre-pandemic lives. He added that this phase is temporary and the country will fully move into the endemic phase once the World Health Organisation (WHO) announces so.
However, he stressed that the SOPs and wearing of face masks will still be applicable.
Meanwhile, Ismail announced that the limits on the capacity of social events (wedding) or MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions) will no longer be applicable during this transition phase.
Ismail also said the government has decided to reopen its borders to international travellers starting 1 April.
He said this was based on three factors: science and current facts on Covid-19, the need for reopening borders among neighbouring countries and reducing the burden of travellers attempting to enter Malaysia.
Visitors and Malaysia returnees, who are fully vaccinated are not required to undergo quarantine upon arrival. However, they must undergo a RT-PCR test two days before departure and a rapid test (RTK) upon arrival.
“Most importantly, Malaysia is an important destination that has now reopened.” he said.
Malaysia’s borders have been closed for almost 2 years now and we are finally making some progress. Nearly 98% of Malaysia’s adult population are fully vaccinated, while more than half have received booster shots.
Although we are recording over 30,000 new Covid-19 daily cases due to the recent Omicron outbreak, 99% of the infections are mild or asymptomatic.